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Snubbing Unit Brings Middle East Well With Underground Blowout Under Control

This paper describes the mobilization of a snubbing unit and blowout preventer (BOP) stack in the Middle East that enabled a well with an underground blowout and surface broaching to be brought under control within a short time. The mobilization timeline is provided, along with details about how the snubbing unit and BOPs were integrated with existing equipment to enable re-entry into the blowout well. The procedures and equipment used to enable a stable rig-up and well entry are discussed. The paper also describes the situation within the well and the procedures used to bring it under control.

Introduction and Background

A well drilled and completed in 1991 was last worked over and recompleted as a single-zone producer in 2010. On 25 March 2018, the perforated zone was isolated riglessly with a through-­tubing bridge plug (TTBP) and dumped cement, and new perforations were added between 3,994 and 4,010 ft. After perforation, wellhead pressure (WHP) was only 90 psi, which was not sufficient to flow the well to the nearby gathering center, and the well was shut in.

On 29 March, the gathering center reported that WHP had increased to 800 psi and that a nearby cathodic protection well had begun producing oil and gas to atmosphere. Investigations were performed on all production wells in the vicinity, and identified the well that was the source of communication with the cathodic protection well. The tubing pressure was found to be 800 psi, and the casing pressure was recorded as 650 psi.

Slickline was mobilized, and on 29 March, a tubing check revealed an obstruction in the tubing at 3,738 ft and provided evidence of damaged tubing at 1,960 ft. Between 29 and 31 March, multiple attempts to kill the well were made with brine weights between 9.0 and 9.6 ppg, followed by oil-based mud (OBM) at 16.0 ppg. Although pressures were temporarily reduced to 0 psi, they quickly returned to 800 psi on the tubing and 650 psi on the tubing by the 7-in. casing annulus. A total of 1,200 bbl of OBM was pumped into the well.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 194283, “Rapid Deployment and Use of Snubbing Unit Brings Well With Underground Blowout and Surface Broaching Under Control,” by Albert Donaldson, SPE, Victor Marrero-Reyes, and William Scott, Halliburton, and Haitham Al-Mayyan, SPE, Kuwait Oil Company, prepared for the 2019 SPE/ICoTA Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 26–27 March.
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Snubbing Unit Brings Middle East Well With Underground Blowout Under Control

01 January 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 1

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